1967 / 2015

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September 15, 2015 at 6pm,
Neue Nationalgalerie
Potsdamer Straße 50
10785 Berlin

During six days, about five rectangular enclosures of ice blocks (measuring about 30 feet long, 10 wide and 8 high) are built throughout the city. Their walls are unbroken. They are left to melt.

Allan Kaprow, Fluids, 1967, Courtesy Allan Kaprow Estate and Hauser & Wirth, © Photo: Julian Wasser
Allan Kaprow, Fluids, 1967, Courtesy Allan Kaprow Estate and Hauser & Wirth, © Photo: Julian Wasser

Fluids. A Happening by Allan Kaprow

As part of the collaborative project STADT/BILD (Image of a City), the Nationalgalerie is showing Fluids. A Happening by Allan Kaprow, 1967/2015 in the Berlin urban space. Allan Kaprow (1927 – 2006) is one of the most influential and at the same time least known artists of the second half of the 20th century. He coined the term “happening”, but his own work was largely forgotten because of the object-less nature of his artistic practice. Fluids was first created October 1967 at various public locations in California. With the assistance of volunteers, Kaprow built several structures measuring around 9 m long, 3 m wide and 2.4 m high, using ice blocks as his material. Once in place, these ice structures were simply left to melt. In its temporality and materiality, the work represents a challenge to the traditional understanding of art in public space.

What endures of Fluids and the happenings of the 1950s and 1960s? How do we approach this happening retrospectively, nine years after the artist’s death? Kaprow had his own answer: “While there was an initial version of Fluids, there isn’t an original or permanent work. Rather, there is an idea to do something and a physical trace of that idea. … Fluids continues and its reinventions further multiply its meanings.”

Five “reinventions” of Fluids will be taking place during Berlin Art Week. The Nationalgalerie has invited Berlin-based artists Olivier Guesselé-Garai, Assaf Gruber, Antje Majewski, Agnieszka Polska and Juliane Solmsdorf; Ahmet Öğüt; Alexandra Pirici and the artist’s group Stadt im Regal to create their own contemporary responses to Allan Kaprow’s happening.

In addition to these four artistic interpretations, the Nationalgalerie is organizing a reconstruction of the historical action. If you would like to take part in the realisation of Fluids on 15 September 2015, please apply by email to hbf@smb.spk-berlin.de no later than 10 August 2015.


The autumn of 2015 marks the second collaborative project between four of Berlin’s leading art institutions: Berlinische Galerie, Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin will present a total of four thematically related and coinciding exhibitions. Initiated and funded by the Berlin Senate, the joint project also marks the kick-off of Berlin Art Week 2015. Titled STADT/BILD (Image of a City), the project approaches the notion of “the city” as thematic cluster from various perspectives. The institutional structure and work processes of museums will be examined, urban developments will be addressed, as well as social, aesthetic, and cultural aspects relating to “the city”. Moreover, the boundaries between public and private spaces, and urban landscapes will be contemplated, questioning forms of participation and community.

Further information: stadt-bild.berlin


Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

During the Berlin Art Week 2015 (September 15 – 20, 2015) five versions of Fluids. A Happening by Allan Kaprow, 1967 / 2015 will appear in different locations around Berlin. The exhibition will take place in public space. Admission is free. Further information about the venues and program will be at www.kaprowinberlin.smb.museum


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